This blog post was written by Meghan Mickela, a rising junior at Keene State College where she studies film production/critical studies with a minor in women’s and gender studies. After college, she desires to wotk in a writers room. Meghan is a WIFVNE intern.
The Monadnock International Film Festival takes place in Keene, New Hampshire over four days in April. Each year, this festival brings films from all over the world and screens them for audiences. This fall I was able to work as a volunteer in addition to attending a few of the film screenings. I was asked to write about my experiences as both a volunteer and an audience member and share what I thought about the film festival overall.
The first films I was able to attend were shown on Friday at the Putnam Theater on the Keene State College campus. The festival began on Friday, April 26th and ran to Sunday night with the closing ceremony. As a volunteer I collected tickets from audience members rating their experience in the films and the post film discussion. I also greeted patrons and checked passes as they filed into the theater. I was able to watch two films while at the Putnam and volunteering. I saw The Silence of Others and Transmilitary. Both films are documentaries which explore vastly different stories of two different subjects, but both were excellent examples of the film on display at MONIFF.
The first film, The Silence of Others, details the effects of the dictatorship in Spain and the first attempt to bring the crimes of the government to court. Through the separate detailing of crimes against different groups of people in Spain, the film showcases the multiple injustices that have plagued the people of Spain decades after the dictatorship ended. After the film, Keene State Faculty members discussed the film in a Q and A. The next film shown was Transmilitary, which evidently examines the lives of trans members of the military. The film showcases the importance of both the soldiers being transgender and their military status, accentuating the divergence of both. This film especially presented the overall pride in the job that each soldier has, when not everyone in the country they are protecting has respect for them.
On my second day, I was able to attend one film while I volunteered at the main venue, The Colonial Theater. This historical theater is located in the center of Keene’s downtown area and is the local hub for all events happening at MONIFF. Here I did the same volunteering job I did the first day, collecting tickets and checking tags while greeting patrons. I was able to see the film Capernaum.
This film is a stunning look at the life of a 12-year-old as he navigates life and takes on his parents in court, suing them for giving birth to him. Capernaum is a scathing tale that left many audience members shocked and devastated at the sheer devastation faced by the characters. The film is perhaps one of the most audacious of the many bold stories shown at the festival.
The Monadnock International Film Festival brings films to the rural town of Keene, New Hampshire where moviegoers can hear tales from all over the world. The festival is an annual event that takes place every April. For cinephiles in the Monadnock region or surrounding areas this festival is a perfect opportunity.